Mold can sometimes be a major issue in a home. If you have allergies or asthma, you’re probably already well aware of the effects mold can have on your health. Most don’t realize that mold can also affect people without allergies or respiratory issues… and your animals too.
Damage caused by mold growth in your home can be a huge inconvenience and costly repair. Of course, mold is everywhere, outdoors, or in public spaces even. Which makes it difficult to protect yourself from. However, protecting yourself in your own home is easier than you think. Before you can successfully treat or prevent a mold issue you’ll need to check for it in common spaces around your home.
Causes of Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that sprouts from microscopic spores floating in the air. When mold begins to grow on surfaces, it starts to reproduce clusters of mold spores making them visible to the human eye. All homes have the ingredients necessary for mold growth: a surface for it to grow on, the presence of mold spores, warmth, oxygen and darkness. Add in a bit of moisture from a water leak or higher levels of humidity and that’s where mold problems begin. Finding the mold can help treat the mold and also prevent it from returning.
When mold is present in your home you can usually smell it. Some rooms could contain a stronger scent which means it’s more likely to possess mold growth. If the smell is worse when you’re running an air conditioner or heating system then the source of the mold could be found within the system itself. If you notice a moldy smell coming from a specific area that would indicate the first place to check for surface level mold growth.
Seeing Signs of Mold
Many people don’t notice small amounts of mold growth. It’s sometimes mistaken for soot or dirt. This can cause people to simply ignore visible signs of mold in their home altogether. Even if it’s small, if you can see mold at all, you should take action as soon as possible. If you notice even small amounts of mold patches that is a good indicator that your home is a great place for mold growth. If you don’t take care of the mold it will become a bigger problem eventually.
Here Are Our 7 Common Places To Check For Mold
1. Check for Mold in Your Bathroom
Many people enjoy a nice hot shower but, unfortunately so does mold. Because bathrooms often lack proper ventilation, this warm, wet environment is practically an invitation for mold growth. However, mold isn’t always obvious so be sure to thoroughly check any loofahs, washcloths, or shower curtains.
Because of the repeated use, showers and bathtubs tend to be the more common places to find mold. The surface of the sink and counters, if not cleaned and dried properly are the most noticeable places to check into along with walls and floors. Water leaks can find their way into a lot of areas, so it’s important you consider all of this when checking your bathroom for mold growth. These areas are usually damp more than they aren’t. When you consider that your bathroom may not be properly ventilated, especially during or after your shower – it’s easy to understand why bathroom mold growth thrives.
Tips For Keeping Your Bathroom Mold-Free!
- Keep all surfaces as dry as you can
- Regularly check for leaks
- Use a ventilation fan during your shower and try to keep it on for at least a half-hour after
Use a dehumidifier to help keep humidity levels down
2. Check for Mold in Your Kitchen
Kitchen mold is notorious for making itself at home on top of some of your most-used kitchen tools and surfaces. Things like wet sponges or rags, dirty dishes or leftover food in the garbage disposal tend to collect bacteria regularly. This contributes to mold growth. Be sure to investigate the pipes under your sink, it’s possible a leak could have created some mold growth and if you don’t go under the sink often you may not have noticed a moldy odor.
After you’ve triple checked the areas on, in or under your sink it’s safe to move onto some of the other areas at risk for mold growth in your kitchen. Places that regularly cook your food like the microwave and stove are perfect areas for mold to call home. This is because there tends to be a lot of spillage and grease splatters. You’ll also want to check trash cans, cutting boards, and behind your appliances. Don’t forget the refrigerator. Mold loves spoiled and expired food! You should always make a healthy effort to remove expired or spoiled food to avoid bacteria from growing inside of your home.
Tips For Keeping Your Kitchen Mold-Free!
- Regularly thoroughly clean and dry your kitchen surfaces
- Regularly clean out the inside of your refrigerator
- Clear away any trash and be sure to take it out daily if possible!
- When cooking – be sure to ventilate by using a fan, window or both
3. Check for Mold in Your Attic
Mold in the attic is a huge problem – it can infiltrate a lot of your ventilation systems and if left unchecked can spread throughout the rest of your home. When you’re checking for mold in your attic be sure to check in your insulation, near any vents, near your water heater or furnace and on the roof near any potential leaks. and around pipes.
Tips For Keeping Your Attic Mold-Free!
- Use a dehumidifier
- Properly insulate your attic
- Properly ventilate the area (vent items outside, instead of into the attic)
- Keep your gutters cleaned and in good condition, especially during the rainy months
4. Check for Mold in Your Basement
It’s common to notice a musty basement odor, but when you work to keep the mold out of your home you can help eliminate that smell entirely. When you’re checking for mold in your basement be sure to check near areas where the foundation may be leaking, near sump pumps, windows or vents and around pipes.
Tips For Keeping Your Basement Mold-Free!
- Use a dehumidifier to ensure humidity levels stay low
- Be sure there is proper ventilation
- Repair any leaky pipes or foundation
- Waterproof and fix any drainage issues (exterior of the basement)
5. Check for Mold in Your Walls and Ceiling
Musty odors can sometimes be overlooked. Walls and ceilings can easily hide mold. If you notice peeling or moist wallpaper, for example, you may have a growth under the surface. If you suspect mold growth in your walls the safest thing you can do is hire a professional for mold removal services.
6. Check for Mold in Your Bedroom
It’s likely you won’t find mold in your bedroom unless the humidity levels aren’t properly controlled. However, it’s still worth checking into! You’ll want to check your mattress, any air vents, and the windows and window sills for condensation that may have caused mold growth. If you suspect your bedroom may be an environment mold can grow in, it’s best to use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
7. Check for Mold in Living Room
It’s safe to say that mold can grow in just about any room of your home. Your living room is no exception. Your couch can house mold in the fabric or upholstery. Mostly due to spilled beverage and food. Make sure to check other areas that can be home to mold spores! Like, your chimney or fireplace.
Tips For Keeping Your Living Room Mold-Free!
- It’s always a good idea to use a dehumidifier if you suspect increased humidity levels
- Keep your couch and curtain fabric dry and clean
Maintain a clean chimney – hire a professional for best results
Toxic Symptoms from Mold
It’s well known that if left untreated mold can cause respiratory problems for you, your family and even your pets. Not as many people know that Mycotoxins from toxic molds such as Stachybotrys Chartarum (aka black mold) can also cause pretty severe neurological symptoms. The symptoms include headaches, shortened attention span, trouble concentrating, dizziness and even memory loss.
It’s important for your health and your home to discover the presence of mold quickly and remove it.
When you suspect mold in your home but are unable to locate it, it’s best to have a professional inspect your home. Like Green Attic, companies that provide mold removal services oftentimes offer a free home inspection. If they find mold they’ll tell you where it is, what’s causing it and what’s involved in not only removing it but keeping it that way long term.